APLU engages its membership through a series of initiatives led by councils and commissions, which help drive the APLU agenda. The APLU council structure enables university leaders with comparable titles, working in similar positions, to come together to address critical issues and expand their knowledge base within their professional area of expertise. The commission structure enables individuals, regardless of position and from multiple disciplines across the universities, to come together to address critical issues and expand their knowledge base in areas of common interest regardless of position.
A critical transition point for entry into the professoriate is a postdoctoral experience. In the STEM and biomedical science fields, one or more years of work as a postdoc are increasingly required for advancement into tenure-track faculty positions, but according to recent NSF data only 8.3 percent of postdoctoral scholars in STEM fields were from underrepresented backgrounds. Furthermore, underrepresented postdocs are not entering tenure-track faculty positions in sufficient numbers, especially at research-intensive institutions.